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  1. I'm making a new thread about China's comprehensive capabilities. The other thread will continue to have updates and such, but for this thread, I'm curious about just estimations of the necessary power it would theoretical take to challenge and hold the equal or marginal advantage over the US. Experience, amount of training, quality of maintenance, etc., are certainly valid factors, but since these factors are difficult to determine, just a discussion on the quantity and quality of weapons and equipment would be sufficient. Those other factors like training can be factored in freely elsewhere. The PLA Navy and PLA Air Force are the branches of most interest. But the PLA Army Rocket Force is a factor as well. One other factor will be bases. Also for simplification, I think it might be helpful to just compare the US and the PRC and leave out any allies. In this comparison, if at any giving threshold the balance of power is near equal or leans in PRC's favor, then all the more important allies become. This factor can be just assumed to fit in after figuring how the PRC and the US stack up against each other. Finally, I mentioned threshold. Threshold in both geographic range and threshold in number of certain items. The threshold would be the point where the PRC as at parity or conceivable edges above the US. Regarding geography, naturally, the closer to the PRC coastline, the closer to the threshold of the PRC will be to having the advantage over the US. The next geographical stage would be various strategic theaters not too far from China's coastline, namely the South China Sea, the waters around Taiwan, the waters around the Senkaku islands and Okinawa, and the waters around the Korean peninsula. The third stage would be all the regions more or less combined, thus the whole water area within the 1st island chain. Then finally two more separate geographical stages; the Indian Ocean on one side, and the waters within the second island chain on the other end. In short: 1. Caostline 2. SCS, Taiwan, Senkaku and Okinawa, Korean Peninsula (perhaps a 2.5) 3. The whole interior of the 1st island chain. 4. Indian Ocean (Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea as well) 5. Second island chain in the western Pacific. Next is the threshold in the quantity and quality of weapons and equipment. The puzzling thing about procuremnt regarding the PLAN and the PLAAF is that they seldom seem to indicate what their end goal is. The US on the other hand makes pretty clear about its 355 ships which has minimum of 12 carriers, and other outlined numerals for subs, destroyers, etc. On the PRC side, even Chinese friendly forums have little idea as to how many warships and military aircraft China actually plans on procuring. So there is a transparency issue. So various stages of quantity can be drawn up, and then I am curious as which points can be considered to give the PRC the edge in a giving geographical stage. So for example, a first stage for the PLAN could be 2 ski jump carriers, 13 Type 52D destroyers, 4 Type 55 destroyers, 25 Type 54A frigates, and any other subs, and other destroyers like their Type 52Cs, etc. The next stage would be supposing that they make more Type 52D destroyers and more Type 55 destroyers, along with their catapult carriers. So say maybe 4 carriers (2 ski jump, 2 catapult), 19 Type 52D destroyers, 8 Type 55 destroyers. And so on. Well the quantity and quality threshold doesn't have to be made up into stages like the geography one, but I'm just wondering what it will take for the PRC to achieve marginal advantage at each of the geographical stages.
  2. The situation has grown beyond the title "US/Japan Alliance" so I'm making a new thread. So things like joint-exercises and such will go here. The number one cause for the formation of this, what I would not be too hesitant in calling Asia-Pacific allies, is China's activities in the South China Sea. There are many separate issues that exist between China and any of the other countries in the Asia-Pacific such as 1) Japan and the East China Sea, 2) South Korea and situation with North Korea, 3) US and cyber theft, etc, 4) Taiwan and independence status, and so on. But it is the South China Sea that puts China against the interest of many countries single handedly, creating a common ground for all these countries to form security relations. At the moment, the most important members of these allies are, perhaps in the giving order, are the US, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, and Taiwan. I would name the US and Japan first because that is where the power is coming from. Without them, China can do as it pleases. But Vietnam and the Philippines have the important position of being at the front line. Australia is additional help via its own interest in keeping China in checked to not let China because too powerful in waters south of Indonesia. And Taiwan is involved because it has one island, although perhaps the largest of the naturally occurring islands in the South China Sea, with a 1,200 meter long runway. And Taiwan has the Pratas islands further up north that doesn't get much news, although they are a "natural park" so probably no military installations on those. What makes this not like the Cold War between the US and the SU in the second half of the 20th century is that all these member countries have have large economic relations with China whereas I'm pretty sure the economies of the West and the SU were very separate, certainly much less than the economic connections between China and these Asia-Pacific allies. These economic relations evolved to a large volume about 10-15 years more or less before the security issue in the South China Sea became severe enough to cause the coming together of these allies. How much longer can economic relations last? How long can economics prevent escalation to war. I'm reminded of the economic relation between the US and Imperial Japan. Japan invaded Shanghai and Nanking in 1937, fought major battles against the Chinese though to 1938 and a long stalemate war ensured afterwards. The US didn't start really pressing Imperial Japan economically until 1941 with the oil embargo in July 1941 IIRC. In short, I do not think that the current economic situation guarantees the prevention of an actual shooting war to occur. Especially if CCP China might see that a small and quick shooting war might serve to actually benefit CCP's hold of dominant power on China. One thing to note is that with the Imperial Japan and US example above, what probably caused the US to take economic action against Imperial Japan was the possible risk of outside enemy powers to exceed US power, namely a Europe being dominated by Nazi Germany and an Asia dominated by Imperial Japan. It is pretty difficult to imagine China exceeding the power of these forming Asia-Pacific alliance, so it seems likely that China won't be tempted to actually start a war. But like in the Imperial Japan and US example, there were other factors in the world, namely Nazi Germany. In today's world, there's Russia, Iran, and North Korea. So well, in short, we'll see. One of three other things worth mentioning are potential future members to the Asia-Pacific allies. Those countries are Indonesia and Malaysia. They have maintained a neutral position towards China on one hand and the Philippines/Vietnam/the US/Japan on the other. But recently, I would say they have slightly slanted their position towards the latter but time will tell if they go further in that direction. The second point are somewhat associated counties with the Asia-Pacific allies. These are countries that haven't raised the South China Sea as a primary concern, for a number of reasons respective to their cases. These are India, South Korea, and maybe New Zealand and Singapore. India will use the tactic of throwing its weight into the SCS as a means of countering China's moves to grow its power in the Indian Ocean. South Korea is by large tied up with North Korea so are in a delicate diplomatic situation with China and probably won't want to get involved in the SCS because of that like how Japan is able to get involved. Although they still seem to no mind selling weapons to say, the Philippines, weapons that obviously benefit the Philippines in is struggle against China in the SCS. Also, South Korea and the US share their own security alliance. New Zealand seems to tag along where Australia goes. Singapore sometimes hosts US military assets but that doesn't necessarily put Singapore diplomatically opposed to China in the SCS. The final 3rd post are counties more aligned with China in proximity to the SCS. These are Laos and Cambodia. These two countries seem to sometimes disrupt ASEAN processes on the behalf of China. The best possible outcome if that while China is militarily kept in check by these allies, that China will transform from within to become a more transparent and open society and that China makes changes their 9 dash line stance. So it'll be a long time until that happens. On this long road, hopefully no fighting actually breaks out. ------ ------ So to start off, the 2016 Balikatan exercises between the Philippines and the US just got underway which will have 5,000 US troops, nearly 4,000 Philippine soldiers, and 80 from Australia. http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/international/asia-pacific/2016/04/04/us-philippine-war-games-begin-china-warns-outsiders/82636000/
  3. In the history section we have a topic on the Sino-Indian War Of 1962 and recently the disputes have flared up again with China moving into the territories and buildng roads: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/06/china-india-bhutan-standoff-disputed-territory India sent in soldiers in support of Bhutan and they met chinese: PRC claims the area is part of Tibet and thus since ancient times part of China: from: http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1473905.shtml The Kingdom of Bhutan is not amused: http://www.mfa.gov.bt/press-releases/press-release-272.html Indian press release: http://www.mea.gov.in/press-releases.htm?dtl/28572/Recent_Developments_in_Doklam_Area Island air field building now in the mountainous Spratleys...
  4. As the title says. The writer who writes for democracy in China. Would have been better if he did not get that disgraced noble peace prize. http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN19H0T5 The CCP of course has a very negative view on him. http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=41491&page=23&do=findComment&comment=1307298
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